During a speech at the international climate talks (COP28) in Dubai, Kenya's president issued a warning about a "disastrous turn of events" in Eastern Africa.
President William Ruto highlighted the rapid shift from the most severe drought in the region in over 40 years to catastrophic flooding, resulting in over 200 fatalities and the displacement of tens of thousands in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.
"A spectacular situation of this disastrous turn of events is currently unfolding in Eastern Africa, where catastrophic flooding has swiftly followed the most severe drought the region has seen in over 40 years. Scientific evidence clearly and strongly links these extreme weather events to human induced climate change. Studies indicate that droughts are now at least 100 times more likely in parts of Africa than they were in the pre-industrial era. This translates into a dramatic reduction in long term rainfall. While short term, rainfall patterns remain erratic and unpredictable. All of us are already living in this dire reality. Kenya has been besieged by relentless torrents that have claimed lives and displaced countless communities," said President William Ruto.
The UN had previously labelled the preceding drought as the "worst in the past 40 years." Ruto emphasized the disproportionate impact on the region, urging swift and inclusive action to address the imbalance.
Developing countries, including Kenya, are appealing to the global community, particularly developed nations, to fulfil their pledges and contribute millions of dollars to help mitigate the climate crisis.
Ruto underscored Africa's ongoing struggle with the adverse effects of climate change, producing less than 3 percent of greenhouse gases but bearing a disproportionate burden in the global climate crisis.